PLACING PEOPLE ON A PILLAR (we all love alliteration)

Mark 1:7 and Luke 7:19

Brothers and Sisters,

I had really great friends in middle school and high school.  I got really lucky to get connected with people who are strikingly talented, highly motivated, and even very successful to this day.  During my days of high school, I could already tell that these people are “going to make it big,” so to speak, and they have.

I want to share with you a brief summary of another reason why I hold these people in such high regard:

Starting in elementary school, I began to idolize athletes and others; you know how much I love Coach K of Duke basketball, I was also a huge fan of Kent Hrbek of the Minnesota Twins, Jake Reed and Chris Carter of the Minnesota Vikings, and many others.  I was also a huge fan of Harrison Ford the actor – he was the innocent man in The Fugitive and he was Indiana Jones; I loved watching Indiana Jones (I still think he is a much cooler character than James Bond).  These are just a few of my many elementary school years heroes.

At some point in middle school, some of my friends and teammates pointed out that not only have I never met any of these people, but some of them are not the best  example to follow; some of them (not necessarily the ones listed above) were just bad people.  Some of my favorite athletes or actors were known to have cheated in their sport, cheated on their spouse, or even been guilty of crimes that normally would end someone’s normalcy of life.

My friends told me to get new heroes.

Interestingly, I started to make my friends into my heroes, placing them on the metaphorical pillar (as always, I am not going to use their real names here; remember that the following names a pseudonyms).  Sam had the best football instincts, I wanted to play like him.  Nick never had to worry about biology, chemistry, or physics (they were all easy for him); so he became another one of my pillars.  Chris was the best hockey player, Andrew and Matt the best baseball players.

While they taught me about baseball, football, hockey, and science, and they also taught me something much more valuable.  They actually (no kidding) told me that they are not saints but there are people who actually are saints – you need to look to them, they said.  These super talented and brilliant people actually told me that I need to look to the saints to find my heroes and not to them and their sport- and academic achievements.

I hope we can take this to heart.  Tell your friends:  the saints in Heaven are our heroes much more than actors or athletes.  My high school friends taught me that.

God be near,

Father Jeremy